Here is another review from my backlog. Getting at least a couple of these previously neglected reviews up today will go a long way toward making me feel more productive. I polished off a sample pouch of this tea back around the middle of May. I was on a huge Chinese black tea kick at the time and still kind of am, though I have continued to devote a considerable amount of my free time to consuming various oolongs as well. I’m a fan of Golden Monkey in general, so I went into my review session for this tea with high expectations. Fortunately, it did not disappoint. Actually, I will go ahead and state that this was perhaps one of the best Golden Monkey black teas I have tried to this point in my life.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of dark chocolate, malt, caramel, and plum coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I found a much heavier dark chocolate scent as well as new aromas of dark wood and burnt toast. The first infusion then saw the previously noted caramel aroma grow stronger and a hint of honey emerge on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of dark chocolate, malt, plum, burnt toast, caramel, and dark wood chased by a hint of honey on the swallow. Subsequent infusions saw new impressions of minerals, tobacco, black pepper, raisin, and cinnamon emerge alongside slightly more pronounced caramel notes and subtle impressions of orange zest and cedar. The final infusions offered lingering mineral, dark chocolate, dark wood, and malt notes balanced by subtler burnt toast and caramel flavors.
This was a nice black tea with great body and texture in the mouth. Also, the range of aromas and flavors it offered worked very well together. Nothing was shocking or out of place. Overall, this was an incredibly satisfying, well-constructed tea. It offered nothing new or all that unique for the style, yet it wound up being virtually impossible for me to fault much. Aside from me feeling that it perhaps started to fade just ever so slightly too soon, I cannot think of anything to really knock. Check this one out if you are a fan of Fujian black teas.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Burnt, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Plum, Raisins, Toast, Tobacco